Holidaying in the UK with a Mobility Scooter.
Travelling with a mobility issue can be a daunting task which influences when, where and how you take your holidays. For some people with mobility constraints holidays have become a thing of the past, just distant memories of pleasant times spent with family and friends.
Owning a mobility Scooter could transform your holiday experience, and give you back the independence and freedom you thought you’d lost. It is hoped that this article will help you to plan and prepare for a holiday ensuring your Mobility needs are met.
Holidays in the UK.
If you are planning to holiday here in the UK there are a number of decisions to consider:
Firstly, how are you going to get to your holiday destination?
If you or your partner drives it may be that you will take your car, and therefore a portable Mobility Scooter in the boot will be perfect. If you don’t drive, what about travelling by coach or train?
National express Coaches offer travel assistance for disabled travellers, and will carry portable Mobility Scooters in the luggage section of the coach under certain circumstances.
They do not however have the facility to transport you on your Mobility Scooter so you will need to be able to board the bus.
They insist their Assisted Travel Team are notified 36 hours before you travel, to check the make & Model of your Scooter is appropriate for transporting in the luggage section, and we recommend that you speak to their Assisted Travel team before booking any tickets.
You can reach the Assisted Travel Team on 08717818179 (calls charged at 10p per minute plus network extras). Alternatively, you can fax them on 0121 456 5538 or if you prefer, you can e-mail them DPTH@nationalexpress.com
Their full terms and conditions can be found at: http://www.nationalexpress.com/coach/PDF/Code%20of%20Practice%20Jan%2012%20_3_.pdf
Coach companies such as Shearings, and Wallace Arnold will allow you to take your Mobility Scooter with you on their coach holidays. Before booking it is advisable to speak to the tour operator first so that they are aware of your Mobility Scooter needs etc. A coach tour may be a perfect holiday solution giving you the opportunity to take in all the scenery, using your Scooter when necessary on excursions. A portable Mobility Scooter would be essential.
Some train companies do not allow passengers to travel with their Mobility Scooters. Network rail state ”Because scooters come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, many have problems on trains, including: tipping backwards on ramps; being heavier than the ramp’s safe working load; or being the wrong shape to maneuver safely inside a carriage.
These problems mean that some companies have trains that cannot carry scooters so if you are a scooter-user who wants to travel by rail, you should contact the train company to check they can safely accommodate your scooter.
Please remember to contact the train company to confirm that all the stations and trains you want to use are accessible. If you require assistance please let them know at least 24 hours in advance.”
We therefore suggest you contact the relevant train operator to see if it possible to travel with your Scooter on your journey.
Another alternative to transporting your Mobility Scooter with you is to hire a Scooter – http://www.rentascoota.com/ Using their national Renta Scoota Agency Network they may be able to supply a scooter/ wheel chair or power chair direct to your destination. They can deliver to your hotel or holiday accommodation, that way you will have the use of it whilst you are on holiday without the hassle of getting it there.
This may be a great solution too if you haven’t used a Mobility Scooter before, you get to try it for a week or two so your outlay is minimal and if you enjoy it you can always buy one on your return.
Having decided how you are going to get there, now you need to decide where to stay, Hotels, self-catering, B&B’s the choice is endless. Obviously your first criteria is one of accessibility. Will you be able to get into and around your chosen accommodation easily? If you need storage for your Scooter is it available? Is there a lift? Will your Scooter fit in? These are all considerations to take into account when panning your holiday. The Good Access Guide offers some helpful information and accommodation suggestions http://www.goodaccessguide.co.uk/accommodation/index.php as does the disabled holiday directory http://www.disabledholidaydirectory.co.uk/
Most of all make sure that wherever you are going is Mobility Scooter friendly, and that the terrain is suitable for your Scooter.
Having done all of the planning and research above your holiday should be a perfect getaway.
If you are looking for the ultimate in Mobility Scooter Freedom – why not hook up your own caravan and hit the road!
Send us a postcard!